Hey there, friend! Welcome to the second post in my blog series about myths you might believe about emotions and viewing emotions biblically! Take a minute to go check out the first post in the series here. Thank you for reading!
The topic of emotions and feelings has been subject to much study and debate throughout history.
A quick google search brings up countless articles and charts about how many kinds of emotions humans are capable of feeling. Some say you can categorize and explain emotions in as few as five types, while others come up with dozens more than that. Regardless of the accuracy of such studies and theories, it’s clear that humans have long had an interest in better understanding our emotions and their purposes.
It’s no surprise then that with so many opinions swirling around, what emotions are and are not becomes a little fuzzy.
One particularly trendy belief that has dominated conversations about emotions is that emotions are accurate reflections of reality. As a young person, I was encouraged by society to follow my heart and my feelings wherever they led me because they would never steer me wrong. Emotions have been put on a very high pedestal. I am fed up with people getting hurt because of this.
What emotions are
I don’t want anyone to think I’m bashing emotions because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Emotions are incredibly valuable. I believe emotions are a gift from God and that they are part of what makes us “made in His image”.
Being in tune with our emotions is important and valuable to the process of grieving loss, healing from pain, and making decisions regarding all aspects of life. Our emotions can be accurate reflections of reality and sometimes we are wise to listen to how circumstances make us feel. However, they are not always. That’s why it’s important to be comfortable with and educated about the purpose of feelings. A huge part of maturing from children into adults is learning how to process, label, and handle emotions in a healthy way.
Life without emotions, both good and bad, would be horribly gray and dull.
What emotions are not
Emotions, while helpful and informative, are not reliable reflections of reality or sources of truth. Just because I feel something does not make it true or accurate.
Following your heart does not assure success. Treating feelings like facts is a faulty way to respond to our emotions.
No matter how much of a realist you are or how much you rely on logic, you cannot trust your feelings to accurately inform you of reality.
If we can’t trust ourselves, what can we trust?
I don’t know about you, but I often get frustrated with myself when my emotions are failing at accurately reflecting the truth. Whether I’m anxious over something that doesn’t exist or struggling to believe something I know is true, it can be really exhausting to always be looking for an anchor of truth to come back to.
As a Christian, I don’t have to flounder for faith.
I know where my truth comes from. This truth that I believe isn’t really mine at all! Truth is the Word of God and it will never fail me.
My heart is encouraged by the people who have walked before me, clinging to the promises of God. David, the king, the man after God’s own heart, is one of those people. David was no stranger to intense emotions. the many Psalms he wrote are a testament to that. David was clearly comfortable and capable of expressing deep emotions of fear, grief, and pain. However, David ultimately knew where he could find truth, and it wasn’t in his emotions or feelings.
David wrote these words, coming back to his anchor.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalm 25:5 ESV
When I am overwhelmed by the task of processing my emotions without putting them on a pedestal, I want my heart to be like David’s.
I want to be led in the truth.
What about you? Where have you been looking for your source of truth? Have you struggled with your emotions, found them to be faulty?
Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat.